The Real Reason Princess Diana's Friend Walked Away From Working On Season 5 Of The Crown

As one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, Princess Diana has been written about endlessly since her untimely death in August 1997. Many of her feelings, secrets, and motivations have been laid bare for her fans and critics alike to devour. But despite the extensive media coverage, there is still no one who understands the late princess more than those who actually knew and loved her.

Jemima Khan was one such friend who was privileged enough to know the real Diana. Born in London in 1974, Khan (nee Goldsmith) worked as a journalist for British Vogue and The New Statesman — she was also editor-at-large for Vanity Fair (via Hello!). She shares two children with her ex-husband Imran Khan, cricket legend and former prime minister of Pakistan (per Britannica). According to Hello! Jemima has also been romantically linked to Hugh Grant, with whom she was in a relationship between 2004 and 2007, and Russell Brand. Jemima also briefly dated Peter Morgan in early 2021, who created the biographical series "The Crown" which follows the life of the British Royal Family.

Given her ability to provide insight into Diana's life, Jemima was brought in as a consultant on "The Crown." But Oprah Daily revealed that she decided to sever ties with the show, walking away from work on the upcoming Season 5.

Why Jemima Khan left The Crown

Jemima Khan began working on "The Crown" scripts for Season 5 of the show with Peter Morgan in September 2020. She was a consultant on the project until February 2021, when she reportedly chose to walk away because of the way that Princess Diana was being portrayed (via Vulture). In an interview with The Sunday Times, Khan revealed that she only wanted to be involved in the series if it did justice to her late friend.

"It was really important to me that the final years of my friend's life be portrayed accurately and with compassion, as has not always happened in the past," Khan told the publication, adding that she walked away "when our co-writing agreement was not honored, and when I realized that particular storyline would not necessarily be told as respectfully or compassionately as I had hoped." She then asked that all her contributions be removed from the series, and declined to receive any credit.

According to Harper's Bazaar, Princess Diana will be played by Elizabeth Debicki in Season 5 of "The Crown." The plot is believed to include Diana's ground-breaking BBC interview with "Panorama" during which she famously declared, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

Is The Crown accurate?

Others have also come forward to comment on the show's portrayal of Princess Diana (played by Emma Corrin) in Season 4. Her brother, Charles Spencer, Earl Spencer, denied the show access to film at Diana's family home, Althorp House, seeming to agree that the portrayals have not been entirely accurate. During an appearance on ITV's "Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh," Charles explained (via Woman and Home) that he was worried about viewers seeing "a program like that and they forget that it is fiction." He added that "Americans tell me they have watched 'The Crown' as if they have taken a history lesson. Well, they haven't." Interestingly, King Charles III has also revealed that he doesn't believe the show portrays him accurately either — he's played by Josh O'Connor in Season 4.

However, former servant of the Royal Household, Paul Burrell, stated that Season 4 of the show was "a fair and accurate dramatic[z]ation of what happened" during an appearance on the British talk show "Lorraine" (via Cosmopolitan). Vice points out that the show did portray certain events surrounding Diana's life accurately, including Prince Charles first dating her older sister Sarah, while taking liberties with others. For example, "The Crown" portrays Diana's bulimia but does not depict the extent of her troubles, including the postpartum depression and self-harm which she reportedly experienced.

Season 5 of "The Crown" is set to air on November 9, 2022.